Eating Seasonally: Vegan Cheese Sauce
This cheese sauce is vegan and it's not just melted store bought "vegan cheese" with over 20 processed ingredients! It's made out of veggies and has a lot of nutritional yeast which gives it that yummy cheesy flavor.
Although this is a recipe that I love making all year round, it’s especially great in winter because all of the ingredients are in season during winter. Ingredients like potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, winter squash, and tahini for some healthy fats creates a hearty sauce that will stick to your ribs.
This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and also nut allergy-friendly because it does not use cashews as a base like many vegan cheese sauce recipes. It's so creamy and so delicious and once you make it, you may not ever go back to real cheese again!
What you need:
1-2 medium potatoes
1 large carrot
1/2 of a large onion
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 of a roasted winter squash (optional)
Seasonings depending on the dish (optional)
Wash, peel and chop your potatoes and carrots. (If you are using roasted winter squash, use one potato. If you are using just potatoes, use two.) Place the chopped carrots and potatoes in a small sauce pan with filtered water. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and carrots by an inch or two.
Bring the carrots and potatoes to boil and boil for 7 minutes. While this is cooking, chop your garlic and onions. After the 7 minutes is up, add the chopped onions and garlic. Keep boiling the potatoes, carrots, garlic, and onions everything is soft and tender (usually about 15 minutes) You’ll want to keep a lid on the pan so the water doesn't evaporate
Once all the veggies are soft, scoop everything out of the water and place into a blender. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of the water that the veggies were boiled in. I don’t typically measure this part, so start with less, and add more until you get your desired sauce consistency.
If you are using roasted winter squash, remove it from the skin and add to the blender with the carrots and potatoes. Add in the nutritional yeast, tahini, and salt and blend until smooth.
Save any leftover water from boiling the veggies to use as broth!
How can this sauce be used?
With chili powder, paprika, and salsa to make nachos or tacos
Drizzled over a lunch bowl
Dip for fries
Paired with noodles as classic mac n cheese
As a soup base (just add more broth and whatever veggies and you have yourself a cheesy soup!)
Dip for bread or baguettes
This sauce can be used for so many different things! I love making vegan mac n cheese with noodles (in the summer I love mixing in tomatoes and green onions!), drizzling it over cooked veggies like green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli, etc. You can also tailor this by adding some cayenne or chili powder if you want it to have more of a nacho taste, or even some sage if roasted butternut squash is used in the sauce. The possibilities are endless! Now who can say that vegans miss out on cheese?!
Let me know how you like it if you give it a try!